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Over the last few years, the word “influencer” seemed like a buzzword that was thrown around loosely on social media. Scrolling through Instagram, there is no doubt that you have stumbled across a post from an influencer since there are various types from many different industries.

Last year, the word “influencer” was finally registered as an official English word in the Merriam-Webster dictionary. It is defined as a person who exerts influence over others, whether through inspiration or guidance. 

In the context of social media, influencers have a large amount of followers, and possess the ability to “influence” their followers through their recommendations and reviews. Whether it is food, fashion, or tech, there is an influencer for it, and they are proven to be more effective to reach customers compared to companies. This is because of the fact that customers want to hear from other people, not just a corporate voice that is trying to persuade them to buy something.

Before diving in to explore the benefits of working with influencers, it is important to be able to distinguish the different types of influencers out there.

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The Nano Influencer

A nano influencer is a person who has less than 1,000 followers on social media, but they still have a dedicated following that reacts and engages with them. These individuals receive the highest amount of engagement due to the fact that their following is not too large, where it gives them the opportunity to reply and interact with their followers. Common examples may include local foodies.

The Micro Influencer

A micro influencer is someone who has more than 1,000 followers, and it is usually capped off at around 50,000 followers. It is important to note that how some agencies categorize micro influencers vary, but they always have a higher follower count than a nano influencer, but they do not have as much impact as a macro influencer, which will be discussed next. Micro influencers tend to focus on niche interests such as fitness and beauty. Micro influencers still have the capacity to engage with their followers, but on a more selective basis. 

The Macro Influencer

Macro influencers are often individuals who may be familiar names to some people. While these people may not have celebrity status, they usually gained their fame from social media outlets. These individuals tend to have more than 50,000 followers, and may even range in having over a million followers.

These individuals tend to be ideal for collaborations with certain brands, but they do come with a price tag, especially if you want these individuals to endorse products. 

Some notable figures in this category are Youtubers or Instagram models who have amassed a dedicated following. Because of their large following, they may not always get the chance to engage with followers, and they often have interactions which include giveaways or shoutouts to their audience. 

The Mega Influencer

Just as the name suggests, these are the influencers who have the most impact and are usually house-hold names. These include the likes of celebrities from different industries, whether it is sports, music or even film.

These influencers have the highest reach, and have the capacity to immediately start trends. Often, the actions of these individuals are often read about in magazines and newspapers.

Looking at major advertisements, these are the individuals you would expect to see to endorse for well-known and established brands. 

Guideline of Working With Influencers

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One of the most important reminders about working with influencers is that these partnerships are designed to be a symbiotic relationship. This means that companies or brands who are planning to work with an influencer are in an agreement to both gain something out of this collaboration. Whether it’s brand awareness, or expanded audience reach, both parties are receiving a gain out of this. It is important to emphasize that working with influencers is not a one-sided agreement that only benefits companies, as this is a common mistake.

Second, it is important to communicate with influencers on the established goal with any partnership. In the previous point, we discussed that working with influencers is supposed to be mutually beneficial, but that does not entail that either party gets to decide how they want to work in this collaboration. Companies have to outline the specifications on how they intend to work with the influencer to market their product or service. At the same time, there should also be a thoughtful consideration where a company should not stifle an influencer’s ideas on how they intend to roll out their promotion on their social media channels. With clear communication, and creative leeway, both companies and influencers can work more harmoniously and effectively. 

Lastly, remember to be transparent with your audience. This applies to both companies and influencers alike. If there is a collaboration agreement between the two parties, it is often recommended to disclose that there is a sponsorship. This can be done on social media platforms where users can add a sponsorship tag on their posts, particularly on Facebook and Instagram. Another way to do this is to add hashtags such as “#ad” to remind the audience that a post is a paid ad. The key reason as to why this is crucial is because transparency often reflects authenticity. If your audience is getting the impression that you are subliminally selling items to them through the channel of a company or an influencer, your audience may trust you less as a result. 

Benefits of Working With Influencers

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Having to work with influencers can offer an array of benefits and opportunities, but it is important to remember that these benefits should be mutual. There are two main benefits to working with influencers, which often lead to other forms of success, for both companies and influencers themselves. 

Brand recognition is one of the most common benefits of collaborating with influencers. This refers to how consumers can easily identify your brand. With influencers, they often have a wide reach, and they could have the capacity to put your brand on people’s mind. This obviously increases the likelihood of sales and growth, especially if you consider a partnership with a mega influencer who will prompt popularity towards your brand.

Authenticity is another key benefit, where consumers are more likely to trust a brand if they get the impression that the brand is personally speaking to them through a person, not a corporate voice. With influencers, they can be the voice of the company, and their opinions typically hold more weight than what the brand itself tells the consumer to feel about a product. Although it is important to note, that authenticity cannot always be guaranteed, as it is dependent on the advertising approach that the company and the influencer take. For instance, it is better to work with influencers who are relevant to your brand, as it would seem more authentic for that person to speak about that brand, compared to if you worked with an influencer from a different industry. 

If your company is considering implementing influencer marketing to your social media strategy, our team at Qode Social has years of proven experience to assist you. 

Qode Social is a Toronto-based social media marketing agency that specializes in community building, account growth, ad analysis, Facebook and Instagram support, and more. Led by experienced social media experts, Qode Social has worked with companies such as Gay Lea Foods, Days Inn Canada, TP-Link and more. Qode Social is a division of Qode Media, which is the parent company that focuses on SEO and graphic design.